Tricks to Throwing a Budget-friendly Barbeque

by Renee' Anderson 29. June 2012

4th of July Fireworks I love entertaining at my house, but it can be expensive to feed my clan! That doesn't stop me from having a great summertime BBQ; I just find creative ways to keep the costs low.

With Independence Day just around the corner, here are some tips on throwing a backyard bash without breaking the bank:

1. If someone asks to bring something, LET THEM (sodas, side salad, dessert or their signature dish)!

2. Buy in bulk and buy at the right places. First get organized and make a list of exactly what you need (paper products, food. drinks, etc.), then plan your shopping trips accordingly. If you're unorganized, you're more likely to get frustrated and just start throwing stuff in your cart or rushing to grab things at the last minute without taking price into account. So, make a list, plan out your stops, cut coupons for each location if you can, and don't deviate from the plan unless absolutely necessary.

3. Buy small dinner plates. The bigger the plate, the more food people will take (and not necessarily eat it all)! Your guests can always go back for more if they are still hungry.

4. Plan a menu that will allow you to feed a lot of people with inexpensive foods. Here are some suggestions:

  • Hamburgers (make your own patties for cheaper AND better tasting burgers)
  • Hot dogs
  • BBQ (beef or pork from a wholesale club)
  • Cole slaw and potato salad are good, inexpensive sides if you make them youself.
  • Fruit can be expensive, so instead of making a fruit salad, just pick up one big melon to cut up.
  • Don't go crazy on desserts. A lot of people won't even eat dessert of a hot day, so a batch of brownies will do just fine. You can spice your brownies up by simply adding some cream cheese, sugar and chocolate chips.

Encourage people to bring their favorite backyard games, and make sure you get as much prep done before the party as possible so you can enjoy the party yourself!

For grilling recipes, 4th of July decorating ideas and more, view our 4th of July Pinterest board.

For a list of Maryland 4th of July events, click here.

If you are traveling for the holiday, be sure to read Traveling Tips: keep the costs low and the fun level high.

Online Banking for Businesses: Why some banks charge

by Heather Adams 27. June 2012

In today's society, online banking is a given – not only for personal use, but for businesses as well. Every business needs online banking to check balances, verify transactions and to pay their employees via direct deposit. Online banking is an extremely valuable product that can save businesses time and money if utilized properly.

So this begs the question - if it’s so necessary, why do so many banks charge for it?

While online banking makes life so much easier for the end business, there is a lot of work involved with maintaining the product and making sure all transactions run smoothly. In many cases, there are whole departments dedicated to overseeing online banking. Depending on which functionality a company utilizes, there could be risk involved, annual reviews, daily report monitoring and more. Also, if the website is outsourced, the vendor will charge the bank. 

Banks offer this service because the value greatly outweighs the time and effort it takes to run it. We, as bankers, understand that in order to make our business customers thrive, we need to give them the tools to do so. This starts with the basics: a checking account, a debit card…and online banking. 

There are so many functions that a business can use without ever leaving the comfort of the office, including checking balances, pulling cleared check images, transferring funds, paying employees and making deposits. But none of these functions happen in a vacuum. For each service offered, there are people behind the scenes making sure everything goes off without a hitch. It is for this reason that many banks charge for this valuable service. 

That being said, rather than taking issue with the monthly fee, first weigh the convenience factor, and then you'll see it's worth it. 

Introducing the New 1stMarinerBank.com

by Stacy Levin 26. June 2012

As you've probably noticed, 1st Mariner Bank has made some changes to its website and blog.  Hopefully you've gotten a chance to explore some of our website's new features and benefits. Either way, here is a quick tour of what our new site has to offer:

 

To access your online banking account, click on the Secure Login button on the home page and enter your Log-in ID.

Our updated branch and ATM locator helps you find the branch or ATM nearest you. You can find information about your local branch by checking out our unique branch pages.

Use the top menu links to help you navigate to the information you're looking for.

Using the left-hand navigation menu, you can find specific information about our products and services.

The new 1stMarinerBank.com offers a variety of banking resources to help you stay informed and reach your financial goals.

 

Now that you've been formally introduced, explore all of the new benefits on your own!



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